‘Money at heart of athletics coverup’
Victor Conte, the man at the centre of what was the United States biggest doping scandal, believes the latest drug scandal to rock the sports world is all part of a coverup to protect the bottom line.
Track and field was jolted after a blockbuster report over the weekend alleged widespread doping in the sport.
Britain s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany's ARD/WDR broadcaster said they had obtained secret data from global athletics governing body, the IAAF, showing endurance runners suspected of doping have been winning a third of Olympic and world championship medals.
Conte, who ran a little Bay Area laboratory called BALCO on the outskirts of San Francisco that became the epicentre of a massive doping scandal in the early 2000s, said the reports show a lack of genuine interest by world sport s antidoping chiefs to catch cheaters and smacks of a coverup to protect financial interests.
"There is a financial conflict of inter- est," Conte told Reuters on Monday. "These tests are bad for business."
"Many, many, many positive drug tests over the years, I personally know about, have been covered up. The reason is ... it is bad business," he said.
Sponsors and television rights holders have become increasingly concerned over linking their brands and products with scandal hit events and organizations such as soccer s world governing body FIFA, which is currently embroiled in a widespread corruption and money laundering investigation.